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Agbakoba Sues AGF, NJC Over Onnoghen’s Suspension (Court Details)

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Agbakoba Sues AGF, NJC Over Onnoghen's Suspension (Court Details)

Constitutional lawyer and former President of Nigerian Bar Association, Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), has dragged the Attorney General of the Federation and the National Judicial Council (NJC) to court over the suspension of Justice Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).

Agbakoba also asked the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial city to declare as unconstitutional the procedure adopted by President Muhammadu Buhari to suspend Onnoghen.

He is praying the court to determine, “Whether by the combined interpretation of Section 153 (1)(i), Paragraph 21 (b) of the 3rd Schedule and Section 292 (1) (a) (i) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as (amended) the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen can be suspended or removed from office except on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council or the President acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the Senate.

Upon determination of the legal questions, Agbakoba, prayed the court to among other things, declare that “by the combined interpretation of Section 153 (1)(i), Paragraph 21 (b) of the 3rd Schedule and Section 292 (1)(a) (i) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as (amended) the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen cannot be suspended or removed from office except on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council or the President acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the Senate.

“Any such further order or orders as the Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstance.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria based his call on the grounds that that Judicial Officers including the Chief Justice of Nigeria enjoy Judicial Immunity and have constitutionally guaranteed tenure of office that can only be interfered with by the administrative action of the National Judicial Council or the President acting on an address supported by two thirds majority of the Senate.

Naija News understands that President Buhari did not adopt either of the procedures in Onnoghen’s suspension.

Aside from the AGF and the NJC, other defendants in the suit are the Attorney General Chambers Ministry of Justice and the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

Meanwhile, Naija News understand that no date has been fixed for the hearing.



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